Left hanging? Plans for high-rope adventure park in Leeds are put on hold AGAIN

Controversial plans for a high-ropes adventure course in east Leeds have been delayed for a second time after objections from local campaigners.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 21st December 2017, 5:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st December 2017, 5:40 pm

Leeds City Council’s North and East Plans Panel has deferred the decision on the proposals for a Go Ape attraction at Temple Newsam Park, after some local campaigners argued that the site being considered - a piece of woodland called Menagerie Wood - was unsuitable.

They instead want the company to consider using an alternative piece of land nearby called Pump Wood.

The original plan to locate the facility at Roundhay Park was scrapped earlier this year after an outcry from locals and a public consultation.

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Go Ape

The firm told the YEP after the meeting that it would “continue to review its options”, although it insisted that the site it had chosen was the right one “on balance”.

Michael Vosper, a member of the Friends of Temple Newsam, said Menagerie Wood sits in a “core” part of the park which is well used by visitors, near the rose gardens and footpaths.

“People go there for a bit of reflection, to have picnics, for peace and quiet,” he said.

“It is totally unsuitable, in our belief, for this type of Go Ape course which, in their own advertising, they say is suitable for hen and stag parties.

Go Ape

“What we have tried to do is find a compromise. We know the area well. There is a site at Pump Wood at the top of Temple Newsam road where the traffic wouldn’t even have to come into the park.

“The trees are of a better quality than the ones in Menagerie Wood and it’s near the golf course, a similar activity, and football pitches and running track. It would be totally suitable.”

Despite the suggestions, the plans panel was told repeatedly that it had to look at the application as was being presented, and not a theoretical proposal.

After a lengthy discussion, the committee of councillors voted to defer the application for a site visit before making its final decision.

Ben Davies, business development manager for Go Ape, told the YEP after the meeting: “We feel strongly on balance that the location we have chosen is the right one.

“It’s for the panel to weigh up the proposal, but we always listen.

“Of course we will go back and reassess it. Who knows? It’s certainly not that I am closed eyes.

“Roundhay wasn’t rejected, we decided not to put in a planning application because we went through the process of talking to people, like we did at Temple Newsam.

“We understood we would have an impact on residents there.

“We think on balance that Menagerie Wood is the right place, but we will continue to review our options.”